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Debate over: The verdict is in
There's not much room for debate on where Americans stand, given the outcome of the election.

 Eric Cantor's re-election campaign spent $6.6 million, or $30 per vote.
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Date published: 11/18/2012

By Richard Amrhine

TO ME, the recent election suggests that America is working just fine, just as it was designed to work under the Constitution, and those who disagree need to put their ideologies on hold for the good of the country. It's the patriotic thing to do.

In 2016, without an incumbent president, both Democrats and Republicans will need to make their cases during up-for-grabs primary seasons and presidential campaigns. Once again, voters will decide in what direction they want to go. As certain as some people--secessionists?--seem to be that America will disintegrate between now and then, I am just as sure that it will thrive. For the time being, we'll all be better off if we work together, compromise, and meet our crises, fiscal and otherwise, without excessive partisan bickering.

I know, easier said than done.

I thought we might be headed that way just after the election, when House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans were "willing to accept new revenues" out of a desire to "do what's best for the country."

He wasn't done: "If there's a mandate in yesterday's results, it's a mandate for us to find a way to work together."

This is unbelievable, I thought. What in the Republican view was economic anathema two days earlier is suddenly best for the country, the will of the country. After the 2008 election, the GOP said that its top priority was to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

I should have known, though. Boehner spent the the rest of last week backtracking, saying he wasn't referring to tax increases, but rather to the the famous closing of the loopholes, which doesn't amount to a hill of beans and he knows it. Nor, apparently, did he actually mean the "work together" part.

Subsequent rhetoric from the GOP and the party's de facto leader, anti-tax overlord Grover Norquist, shows they still don't understand that Americans really, honestly, truly do want the wealthiest Americans to pay more taxes. Republicans are in denial about this. If a deal doesn't get done because they won't negotiate with the winner of the election, then the fallout is on them.

"[Obama] didn't make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite," Norquist said on CBS last week.

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Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.